Reader Poll: Will Wolf Go Negative?

wolf ad manufacturingThe Democratic primary for Governor has seemingly reach a turning point with an avalanche of mud being slung in the direction of front-runner Tom Wolf.

In the last few weeks, Rep. Allyson Schwartz has attacked Wolf over his $10 million loan, his treatment of employees and even plagiarism on his website.

Meanwhile, State Treasurer Rob McCord has launched a two-prong drive against Wolf. First, he criticized Wolf for making some of his kitchen cabinets out of state and then more significantly, for his judgment in standing by Charles Robertson. This subject became so heated over the weekend that former Governor Rendell called out McCord, only for the candidate to double down with his own press conference.

With missives from two separate campaigns it seems pertinent to ask, will Wolf respond in kind?

So far, his polling numbers haven’t been affected but that could always change. In addition, the press is already beginning to create a narrative that Wolf is perhaps “too nice” to succeed. McCord and Schwartz each have vulnerabilities that Wolf could hit on and it is understandable that someone subject to such scrutiny would want to strike back.

The Democratic front-runner so far, though, appears to be a cool individual not prone to going on the attack yet he hasn’t exactly been in the spotlight long or faced this type of heat.

So what do you, our readers, think? Will Tom Wolf go negative?

When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?


  • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
  • March, 2023 (47%)
  • April, 2023 (2%)

Total Voters: 173

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30 Responses

  1. I REALLY hate the negative ads and think they will hurt the democratic ticket in the fall. I have lost respect for those who are running them. I support Wolf, like his positions on almost everything and think he is the best one to beat Corbett. But I too think he needs to respond to the ads and he seems to be doing a good job of that here in Pittsburgh.

  2. Wolf will not go negative, but he does need to respond to the attacks. I think the ads with the York Mayor were good, and he needs to do more of that. Voters don’t like this negativity. And hopefully Wolf will be rewarded for taking the high road

  3. This-
    The poll where Wolf was 20-25 points ahead came out last Thursday. McCord started down this ill-advised path last Wednesday night at public education forum.

    That poll, was consistent with previous ones, that McCord and Schwartz have gotten no traction with their ads/message relative to Wolf.

    This past week of attack ads is hurting McCord and Schwartz more than it’s helping. It’s driving voters away from them and to McGinty or Wolf, not the other way around.

    For November, a write-in campaign for Donald Duck could defeat Corbett. He’s toast. His poll numbers within his own party are unusually weak for a sitting Gov.

    As long as Wolf can avoid getting caught with a dead hooker, he’ll sail to victory in November. 🙂

  4. At this point Wolf has the nomination wrapped up so going negative will hurt him among independents and independent-minded republicans who don’t see him as a typical politician though he will need to go negative against Corbett in the fall. I do get the sense that Schwartz is rising but won’t be enough to catch Wolf. The other candidates waited too long to put up ads.

  5. To Desperate and Pathetic:

    The poll you using is a bit old now and a few commercial and ground game cycles have passed since it was published.

    I am agnostic on who wins. But if you look at the line-up, it becomes really obvious, even to a seasoned vet like yourself, how D’s are going to lose in November.

    You’ve made your choice. I respect that. Get past the passion and see the set up. It ain’t looking good for your team….even if you win the primary. Corbett is in deep dog doo also, mind you. But if he and his team had the opportunity to pick they’re fight…

    Wolf would be number 2 on that list.

  6. @This:

    Wolf is crushing McCord and Schwartz in every poll. It seems you haven’t been involved in making decisions for a race larger than state rep so far, so stop acting like you know anything. If McCord or Schwartz had any private polls showing it as a closer race, they would “leak” them to the media to stop the bleeding. They haven’t. I’ve been involved in campaigns for a long time, and I’ve never seen anybody, in any primary or general election, win after trailing by 25% or 27% just a few weeks before election day.

    Wolf is beating Corbett in every poll by double digits. Not by as much as he is beating McCord and Schwartz, but by double digits and by a lot more than McCord or Schwartz are beating Corbett.

    I’m sure it is “sombering stuff” for you to be supporting the person who will finish a distant 2nd or 3rd place and will see an end to his or her political career, but learn from @frank, he has accepted what is written on the wind: Wolf wins the primary, but easy double digits.

  7. A vote for Wolf on May 20 is a vote for Corbett on November 4.

    Just ask any Republican who is willing to divulge that publicly. Save Schwartz, a Wolf/Corbett race is the very best shot they have to retain the Governors Mansion for 4 more years. They see him as a lightweight…. at best.

    Just notice the ads they’re putting out now. Its not just about Wolf being the frontrunner, but also how easy It is to break down his capacity to lead vis a vis his short stint as Revenue Secretary and the profound risk he is putting his company In by going against an incumbent.

    Its sombering stuff. Who cares who you’re for. Just seriously consider how the opposition sees your pick.

  8. As a Schwartz supporter I can say this race is over.there strategy to let wolf on Tv for 8 weeks by himself has backfired.With that said stop the negative attacks on wolf he will be the democratic nominee,and I will support him 100% in November.

  9. NO matter who your going to vote for on May 20th. You got to admit in a crowded field at first, Wolf did the right thing be getting those commercials up, introducing himself and what he is about. The commercials were good. He didn’t wait one month until election day or went negative. I think McCord going negative did more damage for himself then it did to Wolf. Folks, we got to beat Corbett, this is our chance. Vote Wolf.

  10. I wish no one would go negative, it just gives the opposite side stuff to use in the general election. I don’t think wolf will go Negative. I like the fact he took the last 6 months of ads and commercials to introduce himself and talk about what he wants to do or the man he is..

  11. Independentthinker-
    If you can’t read a poll, and understand what a 20+ lead means this close to an election, then you should remove “thinker” from your handle.

    The only “poles” that are going to matter are for the ex-McCord advisers seeking help-wanted flyers on telephone poles.

  12. Twenty-five points up in the polls, two weeks out. It is over.

    There will be no bumpy ride for Tom Wolf. It is over.

    The only people who say “The only poll that counts is one election day” are people who lose elections.

    “But what about Michael Nutter in 2007? Wasn’t he down in the polls and then surged to victory in the Primary?” At this point in May 2007, he was already ahead. He had already surged. He was up 10 points:

    https://edisk.fandm.edu/FLI/keystone/pdf/keymay07_1.pdf

    Wolf is up TWENTY-FIVE POINTS.

    It. Is. Over.

  13. You all have no clue what’s about to happen. Hold on, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride the next two weeks and if you think Wolf is your nominee, guess again. Pay no attention to previous polls, only one that counts is on 5/20.

  14. David,
    I generally agree with you, and I certainly do about the effect of McCord’s ads.

    As for people posting under their real names, please understand that not all of us have that luxury. I raise money for non-profits and I can’t afford to risk offending a potential donor with my political views. For the record, I am a former local candidate and party official from Lower Bucks. In fact, back in the day, you and I traded emails about your database. I have no affiliation with any campaign since work and family forced me to give up my involvement. Someday, I hope to go back, but until then, my anonymous comments on this site are as good as it gets.

  15. I live in NEPA and I have still not seen a single Wolf ad or sign. All I see are McCord, and just twice now an ad for Schwartz. So Wolf could go negative all he wanted, and I would only know from sites like these.

  16. One wonders what Philadelphia wards Chris Matthews of HARDBALL called to get the bead on whether McCords commercials against Wolf were working or not. He and Rendell double teamed McCord. To be fair, apparently, McCord declined Matthews offer to come on the show.

    That said, it was pretty much free advertising for Wolf on MSNBC. The guy has a heck of a run going for him as far as media is concerned.

  17. We are only 2 weeks out, and he is 25 points up over his nearest rival. Twenty-five.

    He doesn’t have to go negative. He doesn’t have to go positive. It’s over. He is the nominee.

  18. Matt and Mike-
    I agree. Wolf doesn’t have to go negative. The McCord and Schwartz ads are actually more negative for those candidates.

    Voters want to hear about the issues, not mudslinging.

    Wolf’s far ahead and obvious desperation by #2 and #3 isn’t going to change that.

  19. JB-
    Learn to read. I wrote “position papers”. PLURAL. The ONE case of plagiarism you are referring to was, to my understanding, one section in one particular paper. However, the position still matched Wolf’s and the fault was in the staffer not properly crediting the original reference material and lifting pieces verbatim.

    I’m asking you to identify yourself to determine if you have some vested interest, like you are staffer, or if you have the courage to put your name behind your words and opinions.

    I don’t expect people to agree with me all the time (though their lives would clearly be improved if they did 🙂 ). However, I put my name out there to establish a record (a rather long one at this point) and show that I have the conviction to stand by what I say.

    Since you are a frequent poster, come out of the digital closet. You can always hide under another set of initials if it gets too hot for you.

  20. He shouldn’t. He’s over twenty points in every major polling. Everyone else is punching up, if I was running his race I’d tell him to stay on message, don’t be baited. Going negative will only add fuel to his opponents fire. Wolf’s campaign has been brilliant since day one. Stay the course, and he wins. Now in the General, I’d bash Corbett every chance I got.

  21. I’m just a concerned citizen David. I’m not a committee person but I have thought about it.

    A troll doesn’t raise valid points. While I appreciate David’s opinion, I disagree with it. In my opinion the comment section here provides a much better give and take than your average newspaper article comments section because you have people more educated on the subject matter.

  22. I have pointed that out numerous times David. Whether it’s his business or lack of character. You’ve chosen to believe his ads.

    It’s funny you mention his position paper that was plagiarized from a longstanding corporate relationship and campaign donor. How much easier would it be to feed them work when he clearly states what they do as part of HIS vision?

  23. No sense engaging JB David… the reason I rarely ever post on PoliticsPA is that until they force people to post under real names, through verified accounts or facebook comments, etc., this whole website will continue to be a big troll-fest.

    On topic, since I’m already typing anyway – there is no need for Wolf to go negative so he won’t. He won this election weeks ago, and everyone knows it. Period.

    No amount of race-baiting, phony outrage, or mudslinging will change that, it’s only making 2 of the other candidates look like very, very small people.

  24. JB-
    It’s time to come out of hiding and post under your real name. Are you a staffer, committee person, etc.?

  25. Observer-

    Wolf put out campaign ads. He put out detailed position papers. If the ads are inconsistent with who he is or his positions, then please point that out.

    McCord and Schwartz both started off ahead of Wolf and with better name recognition.

    Allyson’s “old boys club” ads have turned off people, and her press-conference style ad seemed awkward.

    McCord’s spending money on ads that are actually hurting him and turning people toward Wolf (and McGinty for staying positive).

  26. Observer/avgpennsylvanian – I’m glad you get it.

    More and more people are coming around to this massive fraud perpetrated on the good citizens of Pennsylvania so eager to have a candidate that is a change from the last two administrations.

  27. He doesn’t have too.
    McCord’s horrendous and despicable “racist” ads have done more damage to McCord than Wolf and Schwartz can’t win anyway, so there’s really no point to that. Frankly, those the awful campaigns run by those two camps might prove to boost McGinty to a second place showing.

  28. Observer: you just pointed out why I could never vote for Tom Wolf and how simply the “Wolfpack” got brainwashed by someone trying to purchase the Governor’s Mansion, with a loan that beholdens him to a bank and leveraged his company and it’s employees to get it.

  29. People think Schwartz and McCord are wrong to go negative, but Wolf is the one trying to buy the election and being pushed through by fast Eddie sleazeball Rendell. Doesn’t make sense for Hanger to endorse Wolf without painting Rendell into the picture. And Rendell doesn’t need to endorse because he’s already got Mary Isenhauer working for Tom Wolf. Wolf is setting a bad precedent for the PA Democratic Party, and maintaining the old boys club in Harrisburg. I am so disgusted that feel good ads convinced folks that Wolf is anywhere near prepared to defeat Corbett.

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  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?


    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
    • March, 2023 (47%)
    • April, 2023 (2%)

    Total Voters: 173

    Loading ... Loading ...
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